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Waning interest in public discussions… Rahman at CIC F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Polls and promises Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Russi Mody – a tribute L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Fortune 500 review Why this malaise in medical education? Funding the un-funded Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Cutting the nose to spite the face Roaring Ro-Ro facility Solar thermal shines… CII projects higher growth… Welcome focus on core competence Delhi is distant… He continues the focus on social amelioration Where a state respects its litterateurs… Tough task taking states together Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Medical costs hit the roof... Muffled voices for merit… Engineering seats go abegging Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Things happen by accident and not by design... Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet The Gulf aviation boom Which side are you, Montek? A think tank for Chennai This scant respect for Law Road development slows down B H Kothari - a tribute Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines China invests in India Kinetic Karnataka Auto components surge… Parliament in paralysis... Modi and the lady Mu Sigma – is no more London, London Narayan Airlines in India: cost and space The sea- saw battle continues... Telangana in top gear… Maximising the micro pricing … More tributes to GR Valli, they are more marginalised Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Permanent secretariat for TN GIM An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Come elections, come advertisements... TIAM turns a full cycle Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Quality education through the PPP mode A proud Madrasi Tatas moving out of urea production... Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Gay abandon in pricing No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Revive development banks... Delhi is distant A friendly business group Building loyalty through the stomach Where is Rajaji? An enemy’s enemy is a friend Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Welcome GST Editor's Notes A more liberated TN… Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Cement prices continue to rise… Tribute Contrarian cousins Haul over the coal A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… PC’s preference for professionals IAS invades NDDB... SoA @ 80 A professional at the helm of IRDA... …and of a popular trade leader The power-full Hindujas Gas is the way forward When Ratan Tata visited SRM A glass full of corruption Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Towards speedy justice Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Secularism and anti-Hinduism S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist The brown list of Venkitaramanan Tatas moving out of urea production... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Make standards certification mandatory... Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Build close rapport with business leaders CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad The nuclear option Banning booze... Vibrant Gujarat Put expensive assets created to use... Music happens Adharma of opposition politics A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... The why of tax incentives Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research When the President was rendered homeless… Why land prices zoom in TN? The star of Spencers is no more The Swadeshi Trump Preserving for the future TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Delhi Chalo... More Shakthi to Das’ elbow A yen for wastage… Convulsions in The Hindu Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Pharma – overdose of copying Delhi returns to BJP Moily’s bold thrust Mersal magnified No Maha Koottani in TN... The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ A welcome initiative by the judiciary S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Noble nonagenarians... Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai ONGC at KG Basin Strengthen the base... All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Editor's Says IPL - no surprise this scam Discoms deserve better… Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL EEC at the National Media Centre Silver Years of Madras Musings Plummeting profits of PSBs TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra TELANGANA at last…BUT Revving up the manufacturing sector For whom the bell tolls? The Jan Dhan bonanza Paytm karo... Don’t seem to feel the pulse… No engine for this car A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Kudos to NDTV... Boy, can you beat these? The few handicaps... Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Small units prefers to remain small... Should we change the official year? Five star activism stalls development activity Recognition to role of NBFCs.... EVM is tamper-proof TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Marketing expert Balagopal is no more When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's GNS - 100: our first subscriber Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Modi storms Silicon Valley Tax agriculture More heat than light Nuclear power at the nucleus IPL type auction for VCs? Breaththrough in malaria control The rise and rise of KCP Return to king coal for urea... New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu When small is no larger beautiful.. Protest masters... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Quality silica from Neyveli The rise and fall of Annamalai University Poor quality of university VCs When online building permits work…. How Air-India loses customs... Align crops to agro climate endowments… Robber barons everywhere Sweet news for TN sugar mills Shipping woes of Chennai companies GM Technology at last! When nations steal growth from one another… Readers' Mail Fuel for thought An inexplicable neglect Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Solar, solar everywhere … Shanti and Sadhana through Music Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model TGS- The king storyteller Shale gas and its shallow future Sri Lanka votes for change He saved millions from starvation... West Bengal: mindless malignancy More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Demise of a media baron... Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Intellectual of rare qualities The balancing act Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Tribute – M V Murugappan MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Fortune for Indian Airlines Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Streamlining mandatory third party cover Wise Presidents The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Another Indian music maestro at the UN Kulandai was a giant Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Making ‘my Amaravati’... Sweeter prospects for sugar Multi-faceted Venkat
 
Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm!

At the 150 year celebration of the Madras University the renowned educationist Dr M Anandakrishnan was asked: “when will an Indian University gain the renown of a Stanford, Harvard, MIT or Cambridge university?” The former Vice Chancellor of Anna University responded that in the present scheme of things this is unlikely for quite some time. He pointed to higher education in our country outside government is largely an edu-business: “these were promoted and owned by families of politicians, real estate barons or other sundry businessmen. Rarely one finds an educationist heading or managing a higher educational institute. He pointed to the Provost or President of MIT, Princeton or any prestigious Business School invariably a renowned academic. And contrasted it with the sons, daughters or in-laws (and outlaws) functioning as the pro-chancellors and vice chancellors of our educational institutions!

Happily some rules have changed making it mandatory to appoint only academicians of some standing as vice chancellors though the characters of most of these institutions continue as money making edu-business.

For state-owned universities in Tamil Nadu the political leadership in power decides the process of selection  and hence the person for the post. The short tenure compounds the deficiency.

One finds vast difference between the fees charged by government-owned institutions and those run by private businessmen. Huge capitation fees have been collected, mostly in black. A few of these, bestowing care on quality faculty, have earned a reputation and hence better custom. These have invested on rich infrastructure.

SRM University and allied institutions are perhaps the most visible examples of the prosperity of the education business. The promoters have expanded in several directions ranging from multi-specialty hospitals, software, television and print media.

While most other private institutions of higher education are diversions from politics to education (eg. VIT, Sathyabama), the SRM promoter seems to play the reverse role: from education to politics. How adroitly he presented Narendra Modi for the latter’s campaign for the Lok Sabha elections and also had him as the chief guest at the university convocation. Like The Hindu’s N Ram sensing the change in mood of the nation and hosting a private dinner for A B Vajpayee before the elections in 1998, putting aside his Mani Shankar Ayyar like aversion to the RSS and BJP!

 

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